Cowboys without Romo (10/29/14)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
What would happen to the Dallas Cowboys if Tony Romo missed the rest of the season?



The Dallas Cowboys lost 20-17 in overtime Monday night to Washington. The Boys' NFC East rivals snapped the team's six game winning streak. Losing is never fun but an injury to Tony Romo could derailed the Cowboys' season.

Romo suffered a back injury in the third quarter but returned to the game after getting a painkilling shot in the locker room. The team is hopeful Romo is able to play Sunday after x-rays were negative.

What would happen to Dallas' season if Romo could not play?

Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden filled in admirably for two series against the Redskins, the Cowboys scored ten points on those possessions. However, Weeden is no Romo.

With Romo starting the rest of the season, assuming he is healthy, the Cowboys are projected to win the NFC East with a 10.3-5.7 record (an average of 50,000 simulations). Dallas has a 71 percent chance of reaching the playoffs and a 5 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, the sixth best odds in the league.

Without Romo, who is on pace for one of his best statistical seasons in his career, and with Weeden starting, the Cowboys are projected to finish second in the NFC East with an 8.9-7.1 record.

We project Weeden as a starter would complete less than 60 percent of his passes for 1,850.4 yards, 13.6 touchdowns and 8.8 interceptions. These statistics would rank Weeden as the 25th overall quarterback in the NFL.

The downgrade at quarterback decreases Dallas' expected playoff probability by nearly 40 percent and its Super Bowl odds drop to 1.6 percent (16th in the NFL).

The Cowboys are 6-2. Dallas is in first place in the NFC East. However, without Romo, Dallas could see a promising season end in another 8-8 campaign.

Cowboys Projected Season – with and without Tony Romo

Projected Stats With Romo With Weeden
Record 10.3-5.7 8.9-7.1
Odds to reach playoffs 71% 34%
Odds to win Super Bowl 5% 1.60%